Russia’s FSB has been waging war against Ukraine long before the full-scale war. Information operations in eastern Ukraine and Crimea, the creation of a wide network of agents of influence, cyberattacks, etc.
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, Slidstvo.Info has been able to collect a whole archive of testimonies from Ukrainian activists, journalists and military personnel about the crimes of the Russian FSB in this war.
According to the victims, the most brutal interrogations and torture in the occupied territories were carried out by Russian FSB officers.
“The interrogation lasted about six hours, during which I was forced to sign a piece of paper: “I, Baturin Oleh Ihorovych, undertake to cooperate with the federal authorities of the Russian Federation, Baturin O. and signature”, says Oleh Baturin, a journalist from Nova Kakhovka who was held captive by the FSB.
Slidstvo.Info received information about the real estate of Russian generals from its sources in military circles. These materials refer to the leadership of the Russian FSB, including generals of the Russian special service.
These are the findings of an investigation by Slidstvo.Info. The video has English subtitles.
FORMER HEAD OF THE FSB DEPARTMENT OF OCCUPIED CRIMEA
Lieutenant General (retired) Viktor Palagin is a former head of the FSB department in the Russian-annexed Crimea. It was under his leadership that massive seizures of Ukrainian activists and journalists took place after the occupation of the peninsula, persecution of Crimean Tatars and the development of occupation institutions in Crimea.
The following month after Palagin’s appointment as the head of the FSB in Crimea, Russians detained Ukrainian filmmaker Oleh Sentsov and activists Hennadiy Afanasyev and Oleksandr Kolchenko. During Palagin’s tenure, the FSB brutally persecuted, imprisoned and abducted Crimean Tatars. At that time, activists Tymur Shaimardanov and Seyran Zinedinov disappeared.
This was only the beginning of the terror: in the following years, the FSB conducted dozens of searches and mass detentions of Crimean Tatars on the occupied peninsula.
On 14 November 2018, Palagin resigned of his own free will and moved to the position of Deputy Chairman of the Board of the Russian energy company FGC United Energy System, which supplies electricity throughout Russia.
According to information received from Slidstvo.Info‘s sources, the retired Russian lieutenant general owns two two-storey houses in the village of Timonino near Moscow, one with an area of about 263.4 m2 and the other with 117.2 m2.
HEAD OF THE FSB’S COUNTERINTELLIGENCE DEPARTMENT
“From the first day of the full-scale invasion, the FSB was in Ukraine, interrogating and abducting Ukrainians. For example, one of the stories told by Slidstvo.Info in September 2022 was about a maths teacher from Kyiv region who was abducted and taken to Russia because she spoke Ukrainian to Russian special services. The woman was suspected of collaborating with the Ukrainian military.
“On 25 March, three soldiers knocked on the gate and entered. A man in black came in, I understood that he was an FSB officer, and there were about ten men with him… They made my husband kneel in the corridor. And Vika (the captured maths teacher — ed.) was in the kitchen… Then the kid came outside, dressed, asking for socks. I took off her jacket, gave her a black fur coat, gave her my ugg boots… When she was leaving the house, she hugged me, kissed me and asked me to say goodbye to her father,” Kateryna, the mother of the captured teacher, says through tears.
The highest ranks of the FSB are responsible for this and other crimes against civilians. This includes Colonel-General Nikolai Yuryev, the head of the FSB’s counterintelligence department, who has comfortably settled in the Moscow region.
FSB counterintelligence, aka military intelligence, which is now headed by Yuryev, appeared two centuries ago. Russian media reports say that at that time, military intelligence was engaged in “police functions in the territories that had recently become part of the empire”.
Obviously, this tradition has continued in the current war. In 2022, it became known that in the occupied territories, the FSB created special groups to search for members of the Ukrainian insurgency, which included members of the FSB’s counterintelligence department.
“They were taken away for anything they didn’t like. Even for making eye contact, they could take away documents and take us away. We tried not to go outside… It was genocide, real genocide,” residents of the newly liberated right bank of the Kherson region told Slidstvo.Info in November 2022.
The FSB paid special attention to journalists and activists from the territories occupied at the beginning of the full-scale invasion.
“They checked albums, photos, asked questions: ‘who is this, what does he do, where does he study, where is his daughter, where is his husband’. There was not a single corner where they did not rummage. The search was carried out by the military, while the FSB officer talked to the parents,” says Svitlana Zalizetska, a journalist from Melitopol whose father was detained by the FSB.
Apparently, Yuriev has enriched himself considerably for planning such operations and other crimes against civilians. As is usually the case in Russian leadership circles, the colonel-general lives a wealthy life.
This first came to light thanks to his daughter, Aleksandra Yurieva, who was found by journalists to have elite real estate in Moscow and a fleet of expensive cars.
However, as it turned out, Yuriev’s wealth includes not only his daughter’s luxury apartment. According to the data obtained by Slidstvo.Info, he owns at least ten land plots in Moscow oblast, registered in his name, his daughter’s name and, probably, his wife Tamara Yurieva.
The Yuriev family has quite large properties, such as a 50-hectare plot in the Novo-Daryino dacha settlement, which is registered in Tamara Yurieva’s name.
The journalists found out on Russian classified websites that the average price per hundred square metres in the area is $80,000. Accordingly, the Yurievs’ plot could be worth $4 million.
Yuriev’s daughter has an 18-hectare plot in the Polyana gardening society. Today, it could be worth about $40,000.
HEAD OF THE 1ST FSB SERVICE
Yuriev’s department is part of the structure of the FSB’s 1st Service (Counterintelligence), headed by Lieutenant General Vladislav Menshchikov.
From 1983 to 1995, he worked in the state security services, and then was the general director of one of Russia’s largest defence companies, Almaz-Antey Air Defence Concern OJSC. This enterprise is currently producing anti-aircraft missile systems, including Buk, C300, C400. These weapons are actively used by Russia in its war against Ukraine.
In 2015, Vladimir Putin appointed Menshchikov as the head of the 1st Counterintelligence Service of the Russian Federal Security Service.
This service is known for specialising in planning and organising intelligence, sabotage and terrorist operations on the territory of Ukraine.
Svitlana Zalizetska, a journalist from Melitopol who survived the occupation, says that even before the full-scale invasion began, FSB representatives were in the city and held public discussions with locals.
“Even before the war, in the same building, in the business centre of Yevhen Balytskyi, our gauleiter, they gathered ‘Yevhen Balytskyi’s people’, gathered house elders and ‘block elders’, those who worked in the elections. A representative from the Crimea, from the FSB, was brought to these meetings. And he would tell them about life. That is, they (the Russians — ed.) were preparing,” says Svitlana.
In 2020, Security Service of Ukraine (SBU) officers detained their colleague Valerii Shaitanov on suspicion of high treason, namely, working for the FSB’s 1st Counterintelligence Service.
Among the divisions of this service is the Information Security Centre or the 18th FSB Centre. Most of the cyberattacks on Ukraine from the Russian Federation are his work.
Vladislav Menshikov is the head of this entire structure and at the same time lives his best life in the Moscow region.
According to Slidstvo.Info, Menshikov and his family have at least 16 land plots in the Moscow oblast, 7 houses and one apartment.
If all of Menshikov’s real estate is put together, it could be a small town. His estates range in size from 68 to almost 1000 m2. And the land plots range from three to almost 60 acres.
Some of Menshikov’s plots are located next to each other and are combined into their own cottage complex.
Today, the cost of Menshikov’s largest plot can be as high as $2.2 million. The total value of his cottage complex is almost $6 million.
Meanwhile, Menshikov’s subordinates, who do not have so much land and real estate, mock Ukrainians by beating confessions out of them for things they did not do.
“He grabbed me, dragged me to the second floor and to the last office. He took me there, handcuffed me to the radiator by the window and sat me on a chair. I stayed there for three days. Every morning they came, interrogated me, the FSB officers… He started beating me, first he hit me with his fist on the head from above, then several times on the face, right and left, several blows to the nose. He said: “If you keep quiet, I’ll come in 10 minutes, I’ll finish you off,” says Oleksandr Gunko, a journalist from Nova Kakhovka who survived the occupation.
HEAD OF THE DEPARTMENT OF COUNTERINTELLIGENCE OPERATIONS
Among Menshchikov’s deputies is Dmitry Minaev. The Ukrainian intelligence service named him the main organiser of the 2017 murders of two Ukrainian intelligence officers, Oleksandr Haraberyush and Maksym Shapoval.
He heads the Department of Counterintelligence Operations. Minaev has also settled in a suburb of Moscow. The Russian has two two-storey houses and four plots of land there.
HEAD OF THE 7TH FSB SUPPORT SERVICE
The last Russian general on this list is the head of the 7th FSB Activity Support Service, Colonel-General Mikhail Shekin.
The Seventh Service purchases almost everything for the FSB – from apartments, cars, border boats, firearms to uniforms and medicines.
Earlier, Russian journalists wrote that Mikhail Shekin’s family owns real estate worth more than two billion rubles: luxury apartments, expensive cars, a mansion, and “several land plots near Moscow”.
Slidstvo.Info has obtained accurate information about these land plots. Shekin owns ten land plots, all in the Odintsovo district of Moscow region and registered in the name of the FSB officer’s son and wife.
The largest plot of land has an area of 36 hectares. Today, it could be worth about $387,000.
All of these Russian generals are in charge of key areas of the FSB and are responsible for the crimes committed in Ukraine. Their subordinates are abusing Ukrainians in the occupied territories: they search homes, kidnap, torture, rape, and force them to cooperate. The FSB generals who give these horrific orders have a lot of houses and land in elite towns near Moscow. Their names and faces, as well as the exact addresses of their homes, are now known.